Thursday, September 25, 2008

Things that Go Bump in the Night

I arrived home last evening from my first solo trip in 16 months, and what a wonderful adventure that trip was. I had gone to Montana for a Yoga retreat (taught by a teacher who is very experienced in helping those with physical challenges), and also for a Harvest Gathering, both events held at the beautiful Blacktail Ranch near Wolf Creek, Montana. That is the ranch where the Sunwheel that inspired me to build the one in Massachusetts is located, and I was thrilled to be back. I was able to lead sunrise gatherings for the attendees of both retreats, and to enjoy the beauty of the West, even with my continued need to be gentle with the demands I place on my body.

I traveled home on Monday, Sept. 22, the day of the Equinox, and sure enough I was up for sunrise on Sept. 23 to lead public gatherings for the first full day of Autumn at the Sunwheel. Of course, I was tired after my travels, and I needed to unpack some of my things for the sunrise gathering -- camera, long underwear, hat, gloves, and warm coat. I got to bed late, and expected to sleep 4.5 hours before my alarm would wake me in the morning. A short night, but I could rest during the day if necessary.

So I was very startled to be awakened at 2:30 a.m. by some noises downstairs in the house. I was exhausted, and knew I had to get up early to go to the Sunwheel, so I was in no mood to be losing sleep. Our bedroom is right over the living room, and I heard what sounded like several things falling off the walls. After the noises kept happening, I got up to go and investigate. Normally I might be somewhat timid, but after being in Montana in the 'wild', I picked up a wooden stick and was ready to defend myself and my family against whatever was making the noise.

I didn't find what caused the things to fall, but there on the floor was a small framed glass hanging (not broken) with the word 'Spirit' on it that had been hanging in the window. I wondered what the message to me was, then put the hanging back, went up to bed, and within 5 minutes the noises started again. Our 2-year old Golden Retriever is frightened of strange noises, so she began shaking. And after 30 minutes of listening to clunks and creaks in the house, I was truly puzzled.

I woke up my partner for help, and together we went to investigate. I turned on all the lights upstairs, and suddenly a small gray animal with a fluffy tail ran from my meditation room and down the stairs. It was a baby squirrel! After surveying the house, we found remarkably little damage for all the things that had been knocked over -- pictures on the floor, curtains pulled down, a small tea pot knocked off a shelf onto some pottery. Basically the squirrel had been trying to get out of the closed windows, probably after getting in through the basement. It was terrified.

Then it ran into the guest room and I closed the door. And as I was falling asleep, I realized that I should open the window in that room (even though it was in the 40's outside) so the squirrel could leave. And sure enough, in the morning the squirrel was gone.

One of the funny parts of this adventure was to go from thinking there was something scary wandering the house, to finding a tiny squirrel. My thoughts had initially created a situation of discomfort, and I realized that in any situation my thoughts could either see things as scary or as soft and fuzzy like the squirrel.

It all comes back to trusting the Universe, trusting that I can take care of myself, and not making assumptions until I have all the information. I'm working on it!

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